It seems to be a trend amongst the soaps at the moment to celebrate a landmark with a spectacular episode full of amazing stunts and dramatic storylines, all played out to us live on air by the courageous and ever so slightly terrified cast and crew and it seems that Emmerdale is no exception.
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Emmerdale first appearing on our TV screens. It was a sleepy Emmerdale farm we were introduced to in 1972, which focused on the villagers every day life in the rural farming sector of the Yorkshire dales.
A huge shake up by show executives, facing the threat of the show being axed due to low ratings, saw a plane come crashing into the village in 1989, and saw the dynamics of the show shift, with a new name of Emmerdale signifying the emphasis on the villagers rather than the farm. Several regulars exit ed at this time, making room for new and younger characters with more dramatic and provocative storylines.
From then to present day we have seen some really hard hitting topics being tackled, from murder and fraud to rape and incest and the credit for this has to be equally distributed to cast and crew alike.
Next year will be 40 years since the show began and producers have decided to follow in the footsteps of their soap rivals, Coronation Street and Eastenders, by airing a live episode.
With the crew of Emmerdale already producing and showing more episodes per week than all other soaps, it looks to be a very exciting prospect.
Dramatic storylines are already being plotted now, with a view to reaching their climax during the live episode and Coronation Street’ director Tony Prescott – the man responsible for Corrie’s Tram crash and subsequent live episode – has been recruited to handle the production and is said to be very excited by the prospect.
He revealed: “I would love to do more live drama on TV. Television as an event is the future. Look at shows like ‘The X Factor’ – all the biggest grossing shows are now live.”
A source told The Sun newspaper: “No storylines have been decided yet. Bosses want a big surprise and a big disaster. ‘Corrie’ pushed the limits with their lives stunts last year.”